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The Independent Online
De La Rue, the UK printing and security products group, has signed a letter of intent to buy Philips Smart Cards & Systems, which is owned by the Dutch Philips Electronics company.

In a statement, De La Rue said that it had been working together in the UK since June 1993 with PSCS, which is located in France. A joint venture between the two combines De La Rue's magnetic stripe card production and personalisation with PSCS's smart card technology.

PSCS has almost 300 employees, and in 1996 the company had turnover of around 100m guilders (pounds 32.4m). Its smart cards are used in the banking, telephony and pay television industries. Financial details of the planned deal have yet to be announced.